What is ley farming?
Ley farming is a farming technique that involves the alternate planting of legumes or other crops with grassland pasture. Â some people also call this type of farming as a type of crop rotation while others refer to it as alternate husbandry. Â The main feature of alternate farming is that a piece of land is planted with grains or crops for several years and alternates it with the planting of grass and/or other plants. Â This type of farming is basically done to help improve the health and quality of the soil.
In ley farming, what basically happens is that grains or crops like legumes are Â planted and allowed to grow for a couple of years. Â After the last harvest, the farmland is ploughed again but is left for grass and other plants to grow. Â This technique is primarily done to make the soil healthier. Â With the roots and leaves of other plants growing in the farmland, the soil will eventually become healthier in terms of nitrogen content. Â With healthy levels of nitrogen in the soil, the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers would become unnecessary.
Another great benefit of ley farming is that it is able to disrupt the cycle of insect infestation in the farmland. Â Insects that make the farmland home because of the food provided to them by grains and crops will literally leave if these are changed with grassland. Â These insects wouldn’t have the food source they need if the plants are alternated for several years at a time. Â With this kind of setup, the insect’s cycle of life will be disrupted as they will be forced to migrate somewhere else where there is food for them to survive. Â With alternate planting of crops and grass, the erosion of the soil will also be prevented simply because of the regular ploughing of the farmland.